Originally Posted by Rob Instigator
I stopped giving a fuck around Out of Time because I could sense a sea change in what they were aiming for (they became adult contemporary).
I think you're taking OUT and AUTO for granted, which is understandable after all these years. But they really are (were) surprising, original and very good albums. I agree neither rocks very much, and I think Buck made a deliberate attempt to move from his jangle thing, but they're both classic REM's as far as I'm concerned. The first 8 are part of the rock cannon, I say.
Adult contemporary? Gin Blossoms/Matchbox 20, etc might sometimes sound like REM, but REM never sounded like the Gin Blossoms, if you know what I mean.
But yeah, after AUTO, the best one could hope for was 4 or 5 good songs an album. I still deny the "adult contemp" charge. Simply a bewildering vanishing of great material.